As some of you have noticed, the 2016 Stump Speeches series has stalled. The reason is simple: Next up was Hillary Clinton, and that article turned into a bigger project than any of the others.
Here’s why: For most candidates, what needs to get covered is “Who is this person?” and “What is he (or she) saying?” But for Clinton, the problem isn’t that we don’t know enough about her, it’s that we know too much and don’t know how to sort it out. The questions I keep hearing about Hillary amount to: “Who is she really?” and “Can I trust the things she’s saying? How much of it is her heart really in?”
Those are tougher questions, and required more work than just fact-checking a speech. I decided to attack them by reading all her books — well, I skipped the one about the White House pets — plus a couple of others that seemed relevant. I was hoping to find themes that stayed constant through the years. And more than that, I was hoping I could start hearing her author’s voice in my head. I realize that sounds more like channeling than journalistic analysis, but that’s what the questions seemed to require.
The project took some time, but I think it worked. You can judge for yourself later this morning. The article is unusually long, even for me, but it’s got five books and three speeches to cover. And it concerns the candidate who currently has the best chance to wind up as President of the United States. Who is she really?
I’ve still got a lot of editing to do, but I’m hoping to have that out by 9 EDT, or maybe 10. The weekly summary should follow a couple of hours later.